Several weeks ago when discussing possible releases from Green Mountain Reservoir, I mentioned that a program to benefit endangered fish might come on this year, bumping up releases to the Lower Blue this spring.
Well, that program IS going to happen. It's called the Coordinated Reservoir Operations program and its purpose is for upper basin reservoirs to coordinate the timing of bypassing inflows on downstream to hit and enhance the spring run off peak of the Colorado River near Grand Junction. That peak benefits the endangered fish of the Colorado River--in this state, that includes the Colorado Pikeminnow and the Razorback Sucker.
Green Mountain and Ruedi Reservoirs are two of the participating reservoirs (Wolford, William's Fork, Dillon and sometimes Granby are also included). We're anticipating that the Colorado River peak will be the last week of May, so we're all preparing to ramp up releases starting the end of this week or beginning of next week.
I'm posting this head's up to Mountainbuzz early for two reasons: First, we'll all be talking about this at the Colorado River Water Conservation District's State of the River meeting tonight in Summit County and tomorrow night in Granby. So, you might hear rumor of it fairly soon.
Second, and more important in my mind, is river safety awareness. I'm thinking mainly of Green Mountain here. When we start bumping up releases for this program, we will be doing so in large intervals--possibly as large as 200 cfs. What we do NOT want to have happen is for boaters or fishers to be caught on the Lower Blue when an interval bump comes down.
So, I'm asking you all to
show some restraint when you first see the gage at Green Mountain bump up. Don't come rushing up there to catch a good cfs rate; more likely than not, you'll find yourself caught between intervals. It will take us two days or so to bump up to the full release rate. Once we hit it, we'll maintain for possbily as long as two weeks. There will be time to catch that wave, as they say, just please don't do it as we're ramping up.
Of course, I don't have any concrete rate info yet, or exact dates, but as soon as I do, I will be posting here and sending out an e-mail. And, as always, you can call or e-mail me, too.